Travel & Food Make a Great Team at SOBEWFF 2022

The Points Guy Brian Kelly, Kelly Blanco, Andrew Zimmern, and Eric Adjepong

Travel & Food make a great team. Together they highlight adventure and exploration. Exploring a culinary scene in a new city is an experience that opens your mind to diverse cuisine and learning about the history of a new culture. Travel and Food brings different cultures together by sharing these experiences. This year’s SOBEWFF included a panel discussion with the Points Guy Brian Kelly, Andrew Zimmern, Eric Adjepong, and moderated by Kelly Blanco. It was a great idea at this year’s SOBEWFF to have a panel discussion with leaders who are passionate about travel and food.

Brian Kelly hosted this event and was his first year at the SOBEWFF. As founder of the Points Guy, he took his passion for travel and became a leading influencer in travel and expert in travel points and miles. He shared his favorite restaurant is in a South African winery called La Gazelle. He also listed Austin, Charleston, Nashville, and Pittsburg as cities to visit for their food scene. I’m glad he was able to join us at this year’s SOBEWFF to host this event and also participate as a judge at the Burger Bash competition.

Chef Andrew Zimmern has traveled the world and inspired us through his tv series Bizarre Foods. You could listen to his stories and food insight for hours. He shared one of his favorite restaurants was Badjao in Palawan, Philippines. On the topic of finding restaurants when traveling to a new city, he mentioned he searches hashtags on social media to see where the local community dines. He mentioned visiting supermarkets was a good way to get a sense of the local food scene. He also shared his passion for fighting hunger and food waste. An inspiring idea that was discussed on the panel was finding time to volunteer while on a vacation. He is an ambassador in the culinary world and leads with his passion, experience, and creativity.

Eric Adjepong is a Top Chef alumn who is passionate about introducing diners to West African cuisine. He mentioned Top Chef was one of the hardest things he’s experienced and he was able to meet amazing people in the competition. His favorite place to eat is a local seafood restaurant in the Bahamas. He also mentioned his hometown of the Bronx has great street food and a communal sense. This was Eric’s second year at the SOBEWFF and hope to see him return in 2023.

Kelly Blanco is the entertainment host and reporter for Miami’s NBC 6. She’s also a passionate foodie in Miami’s culinary scene and has participated as a judge in SOBEWFF events. As moderator for the panel discussion, she took the lead in guiding one of the best food conversations at SOBEWFF. She was also asked a question about her favorite restaurants in Miami. Her list included Macchialina, Stubborn Seed, Itamae, and Old Greg’s Pizza.

Coffee and Conversation is a great way to start a morning during SOBEWFF. A panel discussion with leaders in food and travel was an event inspiring culinary adventure and connecting different cultures through food. When you are passionate about what you do, you will achieve your best. Listening to the panel discussion at this year’s SOBEWFF confirms that we have passionate leaders in travel and food that are an inspiration to others.